LONDON – George Michael, who announced his first tour in 15 years Friday, says he's feeling fine, despite a recent drug arrest and car mishap.
Media scrutiny of the pop star has run high since he was found slumped at the wheel of his car at Hyde Park Corner in central London in February. He was arrested and given a formal warning for possessing marijuana.
"It was nothing really, but again it becomes this massive drama," Michael says in an interview with ITV television's "Parkinson" show to air Saturday.
The 42-year-old rocker also plays down an incident in which he damaged three parked cars Sunday while driving near his home in north London.
Michael says he hit the car in front of him — pushing it into two cars ahead — while trying to maneuver out of a parking space on a steep hill. He says he's "a terrible driver," but denies reports that he had driven off without contacting the cars' owners.
"I had people calling me, frantically trying to find out if I was in hospital or not," he says. "I literally had a parking accident."
He also says a comment by Elton John about a "deep-rooted unhappiness" in Michael's life has made him "really vulnerable to the press."
"Unfortunately, every artist nowadays has a soap opera, and it's decided where they're going to be in that," he says. "The trajectory of my particular soap opera launched from that statement Elton made about 18 months ago when he hadn't seen me for years."
In 1998, Michael was arrested for lewd conduct in a public toilet in Los Angeles after being spotted by an undercover police officer. He later released a single and video "Outside" that poked fun at his arrest.
Michael first gained fame as one-half of the '80s duo Wham! and later found superstardom with his 1987 solo album, "Faith." He will start a European tour on Sept. 27 in Madrid, Spain. So far, there are no U.S. dates set. He hasn't toured since 1991.
Michael says he plans to formalize his relationship with partner Kenny Goss under Britain's new civil partnership rules for same-sex couples.
"It's absolutely essential that we have the same safeguards that straight couples do," he says. "But I want more than a 50 percent chance of success. I don't want to emulate that."